Lets learn a thing or two...
With our goals firmly set of taking part in the Down Under Go East rally this year, sailing from the Gold Coast to New Caledonia, we felt that we should try to learn as much knowledge as we can about sailing offshore.
The challenges of the great unknown I think are the biggest cause of fear in attempting to sail across oceans. The force of nature is unforgiving to us tiny little specimens and the ocean can be a relentless beast at times. The more we learn and the more preparation we put into our planning, will only be beneficial to us when we attempt to achieve our goals. Of course we do not plan to sail into a storm, but we all know how quickly the weather can change. A squall could blow in, it may only last for 20 minutes, but during those 20 minutes, so many things could happen.
We have been meeting with other experienced sailors that have previously taken these challenges upon themselves. By listening to their stories and experiences, we have already gained priceless information. You can never know enough I reckon and because of all these factors, we have decided to join an offshore cruising course run by the ICA (Island Cruising Association). The instructors of the course are 20-year veterans of cruising, therefore should be able to share some wisdom with us novices.
The course runs through topics from Rigging, Sails, Provisioning and Money, through to what I am curious about; search and rescue, emergencies at sea, heavy weather planning and fixing things at sea. I am sure we will look at extended cruising in a different way after jamming our brains with information.
What is really of interest for me in this course, is listening to other peoples experiences during heavy weather. Storms and big seas is what everyone fears and I know at some stage, we will have to endure this. It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. With this in mind, I want to listen and soak up other people’s adventures and learn different techniques to deal with situations. I have my plan and ideas of what I think we will do, but it will be interesting comparing my ideas to the way others have reacted when in similar circumstances.
We will meet other fellow yacthies, who plan to sail east as part of the rally with us to New Caledonia. I am looking forward to building a relationship with these guys as we plan our adventures. We have set a mammoth task in front of us to be prepared for this voyage in May, but step-by-step we work through the list and this weekend will be a big tick off that list. Exciting times ahead!
To learn more about these courses and the Go East Rally that we will be participating in, follow these links!